What's Going Around

Dan Moore, certified physician's assistant at Lansing's Ingham Internal Medicine and Pediatric Associates, a partner of Ingham Regional, is treating allergies.

Symptoms include: nasal stuffiness, headache, sinus congestion, wheezing, fatigue and itchy, watery eyes.

To treat allergies, take over-the-counter antihistamines. If those don't work, see a doctor.

Mr. Moore is also treating poison ivy this week.

It usually appears as an itchy, red, raised rash. The rash forms blisters that break open and ooze clear fluid.

You may also have localized swelling and a feeling of warmth at the exposed area.

Most cases of poison ivy can be treated at home. Wash the irritant off the skin as soon as possible with soap and hot water.

Take an oral antihistamine, and apply topical hydro-cortisone cream and calamine lotion.

You may want to use a cool compress to relieve itchiness and make the blisters dry out.

A serious case of poison ivy should be seen by a doctor. Signs of a severe case include swelling of the face mouth eyelids or neck, and a rash that's widespread across the body.

The poison ivy rash itself isn't contagious; the spreading of the plant oil is. That's why it's so important to wash the irritant off the skin as soon as possible.


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